Chapter Five (Spiritual Ailments )

Definition of Magic

Linguistically, magic refers to all what is hidden and unknown, which takes place late at night. Ibn Omar narrated that the prophet (PGBUH) said:” Some eloquence is magic”, for the magician is capable of concealing and hiding the facts.
Ibn Mnthur said (Al-Azhari said ”Magic is a work which seeks the devil’s approval and help where things deceive the eyes which is opposite to the true fact of the matter. The magician makes things appear contrary to what they really are. He has thus altered things from their true course and destination.
In legislation, magic refers to the spells and incantations that affect the minds and bodies of people, causing illness, death and separation between the man and his wife. Allah says” They learned from them the means to sow discard between man and his wife.” Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) verse 102. Allah has ordered man to seek refuge with Allah against magic and magicians. Allah says” From the mischief of those who practice Secret Arts”.Surah Al-Falaq (The Dawn) verse 4. Allah says” They performed great magic”. He described magic as something ”great” which indicates something real. However, some magic can be pure imagination as when Allah describes the magicians of the Pharaoh where He says:” So it seemed to him on account of their magic-began to be in lively motion”; i.e. Moses imagined that the magicians’ ropes are moving like snakes because of their strong magic.
Thus, there are two kinds of magic, real and imaginary. However, the magician is incapable of changing the reality of things, for instance he can not turn a man into a monkey or cow. The magician and his magic are not effective by themselves, except when related to the cosmic fate decreed by Allah, but it has nothing to do with the legitimate permission of Allah who prohibited magic and gave no permission to it. Allah says:” But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission”.
The ”Ahnaf” School of jurisprudence said that magic is ” a science which leads to obtaining a certain psychological faculty used to undertake strange deeds for hidden reasons”, or ” it is a saying in which other than Allah is glorified and to whom effects are related”. Hasheyat Rad Al-Mehtar by Mohamed Amin,known as Ibn Abdeen. 1/ 44-45.
Al- Malekeya School provided a similar definition of magic where they say” some forms of magic are extraordinary while others are not”. Hasheyat Al-Doseki 4/203.
Al-Shafeyya School defines magic as ” sayings and practices carried out by evil spirits which results in extraordinary matters”.
Al-Hanabela School says that ”magic is incantation that is uttered or written, or something done that affects the heart and mind of the afflicted one” Al- Moghni – 8/150.
Ibn Qodama says that magic is ”incantation and words uttered or written that affects the body, heart, and mind of the afflicted person without having a role in that. It is a true thing which can results in the death or illness or a man can abandon his wife or even hate her. AL-Modgni— 10/104.
After reviewing the different opinions and views of scholars and researchers regarding magic, I will provide a comprehensive definition of real magic as follows:” Real magic refers to incantations, charms, and spells in which other than Allah is glorified; it is considered to be an act of disbelieving. One may make use of it to get a certain psychological faculty which he himself acquires through learning and this person often has certain characteristics. This takes place under certain unfamiliar circumstances and through hidden and intricate means. Theses deeds are carried out by evil spirits which seek the devil’s approval to get what man can not achieve. They have a direct effect on the world of matter which in turn affect hearts like love or hate, casting good and evil, or afflict bodies with ailments and death. This happens to one person or a group of people despite their will to achieve a certain goal.”
Definition of Magic in the Encyclopedia: Showing what is wrong as right; it is called magic because it diverts things from their course. It is based mainly on addressing unseen spirits and includes black magic that uses the devil to fulfill what the magician desires. Many tools are used by magician in their magic which include pastes, rings, inscriptions, pictures, names of heavenly signs, cups, eggs, mirrors, emulates, inks made of dirty blood used to write strange inscriptions for the common people. It spread earlier among the Babylon and Chadian people as well as Israelis and Pharaohs. Following them were the Greeks and Romans who also believed in the power of magic and that magicians are capable of doing things that ordinary people can not accomplish.
Practically, magic if effective through the following: a magician — a deed — the magician’s servant (the jinn).